Former South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock has come out in support of the under-fire Indian batting line-up which failed to live up to the expectations in the first Test against England at Edgbaston.
Despite captain Virat Kohli’s heroics in the match, India was bowled out for 274 and 162 in their first and second innings respectively to lose the opening Test by 31 runs.
Speaking to Mail Today, Pollock said: "I think always going to be a challenge for Indian batsmen to play outside the sub-continental conditions. It is something which happens with England and South African batsmen too when they come here(India)."
"Technically, we don't grow up on it so we eventually struggle against spinners. And it takes some adjustment for players to get used to the conditions. So they should be given a few more opportunities," he added.
Even though India’s batting line-up didn’t step up to the plate, bowlers came to the party once again. Continuing where they left off in South Africa, Indian bowlers claimed 20 English wickets, with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picking up seven wickets in the match and speedster Ishant Sharma taking the five-wicket haul in the second innings.
Impressed with the quality of Indian bowling line-up, Pollock feels once the top-order starts firing they can win the England series.
"India has a very competitive bowling attack. They have a lot of spin and fast bowling options so all India needs is three or four of the batsmen to perform to have a strong chance of winning it,” Pollock remarked.
"The biggest challenge at the moment in Test cricket is to compete abroad. Most teams can win at home but it has been competitive away. That's why India needs more than just Kohli to win matches away," he further asserted.
Kohli finished the match as the leading run-scorer from either side. While the Indian captain registered his maiden Test ton (149) on English soil in the first innings, he scored a solid 51 in the second innings.
Hailing the knock of Indian captain, Pollock stated: "It was an impressive knock by Kohli. He played some great shots in those challenging conditions. Kohli fought hard against Jimmy Anderson and it is something you have to do in cricket sometimes, you have to fight through the hard period and once you do that, things become a bit easier.”
"His performance was particularly special after how people have been talking about his failure in England last time around and also during the one-dayers. It shows how he was keen to prove a point," he concluded.
The second Test between England and India will be played at Lord’s from Thursday (August 9).